Did you know that every year there are approximately 140 new cancer cases diagnosed in children under the age of 17 in British Columbia? That’s an alarming statistic, which is why BC Children’s Hospital is helping to create awareness about pediatric cancers during the month of September for Childhood Cancer Awareness month.
Childhood cancers differ from adult cancers in their cell type and response to therapy, making research and education all the more important to advance treatment and support the next generation of physicians in patient care. There have been several breakthroughs in childhood cancer treatments including oncogenomics—the understanding of biology and genetics of tumors. Through research doctors can now customize therapies for patients and have the ability to better risk stratify. Clinical trials, modification of the immune system and transplants all offer hope to children with cancer.
“The impacts of cancer have a wide effect—from the patient, to their family, and their community,” said Dr. Caron Strahlendorf, division head of oncology at BC Children’s. “For more than 25 years I’ve watched families and friends come together to support loved ones through difficult times, and each time it is different; each time I feel just as privileged as the last to work with my patients and support them through treatment.”
“We need to continue the momentum—every day there is new research, advancements within the field and something to discover,” said Dr. Strahlendorf. “It’s because of initiatives like Childhood Cancer Awareness that we are able to help children with cancer and stay with them throughout their journey.”
Check out BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 30 days, 30 stories
—a powerful spotlight on the unfiltered voices of pediatric cancer.